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Choosing Virtual Machine Candidates

Updated: August 9, 2010

Applies To: System Center Essentials 2010

A virtual machine emulates a complete hardware system from processor to network card, in a self-contained, isolated software environment. It enables the simultaneous operation of otherwise incompatible operating systems. Using System Center Essentials 2010 to virtualize your environment can help maximize limited IT resources by consolidating underused physical servers and more rapidly provisioning new virtual machines. They can be used as application servers or other similar tasks. The following section discusses the various ways in which you can create a virtual machine in Essentials 2010.

Creating Virtual Machines

Before you can create a virtual machine, you have to designate at least one server as a host for virtual machines. For more information about designating a host server, see How to Designate a Host for Virtualization Management in Essentials.

Using virtualization management in Essentials 2010, you can create virtual machines from the following:

  1. Physical computers—physical computer to virtual machine (P2V) conversion

    A physical computer must already be managed by Essentials 2010 to select it for conversion to a virtual machine. In addition, the physical computer must have one of the following operating systems installed:

    • Windows 7 (x86 and x64)

    • Windows Web Server 2008 R2

    • Windows Web Server 2008

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter Edition (x64)

    • Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter Edition (x86 and x64)

    • Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and above (x86 and x64)

    • Windows Small Business Server 2003

    • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition

    • Windows Server 2003 Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter Edition with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and above (x86 and x64)

    • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 (SP3) and above (x86 and x64)

  2. Virtual hard disks—virtual machine to virtual machine (V2V) conversion

    You can import Microsoft virtual hard disks (.vhd files) and VMware virtual hard disks (.vmx files). These files must be located in the Essentials 2010 Library folder in order to be imported. If you are converting a VMware virtual machine to a Hyper-V server or Virtual Server virtual machine, uninstall VMware Tools on the guest operating system of the VMware virtual machine before you begin the conversion.

  3. Virtual machine templates

    The table shows the default virtual machine templates that are included with Essentials 2010. You cannot delete the default templates; however, you can edit the default template names and descriptions.


    Server with a heavy workload

    Server with a moderate workload

    Server with a minimal workload


    2 CPU – 4 GB RAM – 60 GB VHD

    1 CPU – 2 GB RAM – 16 GB VHD

    1 CPU – 1 GB RAM – 16 GB VHD






    4 GB

    2 GB

    1 GB

    Hard Disk

    60 GB

    16 GB

    16 GB


    Show locations

    Show locations

    Show locations

    CD/DVD Drive




    BIOS Boot Order

    CD, IDE Hard Disk, network boot

    CD, IDE Hard Disk, network boot

    CD, IDE Hard Disk, network boot

For more information and step-by-step instructions about how to create virtual machines, see the "Virtualizing Your Server Environment" section in the System Center Essentials 2010 Operations Guide in the System Center Essentials 2010 Technical Library (

See Also